Shared Parenting Scotland publishes new edition of family court guide for party litigants

Shared Parenting Scotland publishes new edition of family court guide for party litigants

Ian Maxwell

A new edition of Representing Yourself in the Scottish Family Courts, Shared Parenting Scotland’s user guide for party litigants in child contact court cases, has been published.

The 3rd edition of the guide has been updated to cover recent changes in the law and court rules including the workings of family courts during Covid restrictions. The guide also includes information about the forthcoming changes that will result from the implementation of the Children (Scotland) Act 2020.

National manager Ian Maxwell said: “We hope this new edition will be useful to the increasing number of fathers and mothers we are aware of who are representing themselves but also to anyone who is involved in a family court case.

“It explains the processes and procedures involved in starting or defending a case and explains the terms and phrases that can be confusing for anyone drawn into legal processes for the first time.”

“Over a thousand copies of the guide have been downloaded from the charity’s website over the last 10 years.

“Shared Parenting Scotland encourages those who get in contact to avoid going to court if possible.”

He added: “The adversarial system tends to polarise attitudes and can even generate entirely new grievances. It can also be crushingly expensive and unpredictable. Our impression is that more individuals are deciding to represent themselves because the cost can be so high for people who are only a few pounds over the legal aid ceiling. It is a common refrain we hear at group meetings that “the thousands we are both spending on legal costs is money that ought to be there for our kids.”

“Sometimes the courts can’t be avoided where negotiation is not possible or is refused. Shared Parenting Scotland’s ambition is that Scotland should move to a more humane and transparent system where parenting is shared rather than won in a battle between parents for time with their children.”

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